California – In a story coming out of UC Berkeley, a student athlete who showed promise on the football field allegedly tried to steal a police officer’s gun and car.
While there’s little information at this time with regard to possible motivations influencing the alleged actions of the student athlete, the incident was luckily devoid of serious injury.
Police took 19-year-old UC Berkeley football player Joseph Adeyem Wisdom Ogunbanjo into custody over the weekend after he allegedly flagged down a Berkeley police officer and attempted to take the officer’s gun throughout a unprovoked physical altercation.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, police say Ogunbanjo then attempted to drive off in the officer’s squad car.
Berkeley Police Department spokesman, Officer Byron White, stated that an officer was headed south on Gayley Road, not far from University Drive on the UC Berkeley campus at round 1:00 a.m. on Sunday.
While the officer was driving down the road, they noticed someone walking near the center median who then motioned the officer’s car over to them.
The BPD provided a statement regarding what happened after the officer was flagged down over to the young man:
“After starting a conversation with the officer at the driver’s side window, the man asked the officer about his handgun and whether or not he could drive the police vehicle. When the officer told the man that he could not drive the vehicle and directed him to step away from the police vehicle, the man forcibly opened the driver’s side door.”
According to White, the officer exited the car and instructed Ogunbanjo to sit on the ground. Apparently, Ogunbanjo complied with the directive at first, but then decided to become combative again. White continued the statement saying:
“The officer pushed the man away, but the man continued his attack — each time tightening his grasp.”
White then said that when the officer tried to handcuff Ogunbanjo, he made a move for the officer’s holstered gun.
The simple attempt at going for an officer’s gun can create a chain of events that hardly go well for either the officer or the suspect. While the fray did not escalate to shots being fired, Ogunbanjo did allegedly elbow the officer’s head and then jumped into the driver’s seat of the squad car.
It should also be noted that the car was equipped with a shotgun as well.
In this case, the officer was able to employ non-lethal force to extract the suspect from the vehicle by using his baton. Backup arrived and helped the officer subdue and arrest the suspect.
As for Ogunbanjo, he was arrested on suspicion of attempted carjacking, threatening violence on a police officer, attempting to remove an officer’s weapon and battery on a police officer.
— California Golden Blogs (@GoldenBlogs) December 10, 2019
The officer was evaluated at the scene for any serious injuries, but didn’t require additional medical treatment. Ogunbanjo was transported from the Berkeley Jail to a hospital for assessment.
There’s been no update to the extent of injuries sustained by Ogunbanjo, though it was reported that he remained in the hospital as of Monday evening.
According to Ogunbanjo’s online booking, he is being held on $195,000 bail and is slated for his arraignment this Wednesday at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland. However, the date is subject to change if Ogunbanjo is still in the hospital’s care.
According to White, “This could have very easily ended in tragedy.”
When the school was reached for comment on the alleged crimes against the athlete, UC Berkeley has confirmed that Ogunbanjo was suspended from the Cal football team during the fall season. Herb Benenson, associate director of Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Berkeley, released the following statement:
“We are aware of an incident involving Joseph Ogunbanjo, and the details as described by the Berkeley Police Department are troubling. While he is no longer a member of our football program, we remain concerned for his well-being.”
A similar story happened in Tennessee in October.
A football player from the University of Tennessee was caught on video belligerently harassing and taunting officers while they placed him under arrest… and now he’s finally trying to apologize.
But is it too little too late?
Jeremy Banks was pulled over by UT police after he made an illegal U-turn. Once the officer ran his information, it came back that he had an outstanding warrant out for his arrest. But as the UT officer attempted to take him into custody, Banks lashed out, testing the police.
“What would you do without that badge, though? That’s all I want to know,” Banks said, challenging the officers at the scene.
Banks was being placed under arrest for a prior warrant, which stemmed from skipping his court appearance after being charged with driving with a suspended license.
Banks is reportedly a prominent football star for the university, and apparently felt like he was above the law, going so far as to tell the cops that he should have run from them… and would if the situation presented itself in the future.
“I should’ve ran, test y’all’s speed,” Banks says in the video. “Y’all would’ve never catch me. That’s what I should’ve did. Next time, I am, I promise you. Never again y’all boys will take me to jail. Not UT police.”
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Once in the back of the car, he continued to rain down his verbal abuse of the officers.
“I don’t like the police, bro. Hell nah,” he can be heard saying. “Y’all police are some p*****s, bro. Real s**t, I don’t f**k with y’all.”
But the entitled athlete wasn’t finished there. Banks then turned his attention to a woman who was participating in a ride along with the UT officers.
“Ma’am, I don’t think you want to be an intern, because where I’m from, we shoot at cops. I’m from Memphis, Tennessee,” he said.
The officers had enough of the football star’s attitude and booked him. Banks then turned to his coach to come bail him out. He was sprung after a $500 bond was settled.
Head coach Jeremy Pruitt was said to be less than understanding when the officers told him that Banks had to be arrested for his warrant, but later backed off.
“This is the silliest s*** I’ve ever seen in my life,” Pruitt reportedly said while speaking with the officers. “I’ve got it. I understand. I’ve worked at four places, and I ain’t ever had no crap like this except for here.”
Social media quickly ran with the remarks made by both coach and player, with many saying that Pruitt has ‘no business’ serving as a head coach.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) October 2, 2019
Days after the video was released, Banks eventually caved and apologized to the officers, the university and the community.
“I want to sincerely apologize to my family, the University of Tennessee and the law enforcement community,” Banks said a few days after the arrest. “I deeply regret my language and attitude in the video. I have great respect for our policemen and women, and I am embarrassed by my actions that night. That’s not who I am. I promise to be a better representative for the University of Tennessee moving forward.”
Check out the video of the arrest below, caught on a UT officer’s body worn camera.
Anyone else sick and tired of entitled athletes treating cops like dirt?
We sure are.
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